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Research shows that a massage can reduce stiffness and soreness by more than 40%, but getting a massage on the regular can be expensive! The foam roller is the next best thing. It’s portable and achieves the same goals as a massage. Foam rolling should be used both before and after a workout. Using the foam roller prior to a workout can help decrease muscle density and promote a better warmup. Rolling after a workout may help muscles recover from strenuous exercise.

While using the foam roller search for tender areas or trigger points and roll these areas to decrease density and over-activity of the muscle. While the foam roller can be used on almost any area of the body, it works best on the lower extremities. As CrossFitters, the hamstrings and hip flexors experience the most muscle strains, so concentrate on those areas. So next time you’re in the gym, take 5 minutes before and after your workout to give yourself some TLC with the foam roller.